WEBSITES OF THE DAY
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CHRISTMAS LETTER. Once again, I've posted our Christmas letter on the Internet. It may not be as personal as holding it in your hand--but it's a lot prettier on the net!
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
19 December 2004
I received the most amazing spam the other day, headlined "For the Holidays!" Was it selling sparkly Christmas jewelry? Holiday clothing? Fruitcake? No. It was selling:
"Holiday Cheer Meds: Ambien, Valium, Cialis"
Just what everybody needs for a happy Christmas, I guess. We've become such a nation of instant gratification that we are willing to risk our lives in pursuit of the happy glow.
The antidepressant Valium, to make the world seem merry and bright,
Cialis, the newest entry in the Viagra line, to help make this the most wonderful time of the year
And Ambien, a sleeping aid to calm you down after you've had a Cialis-enhanced evening and give you a silent night.
I read another spam ad, when thinking of writing this entry, which promises that you just put half a Cialis tablet under your tongue and get "rock hard instant erections" -- the term "boinnnnggggg" comes to mind -- and that it will last "all day." What about those "erections lasting more than 4 hours needing medical attention." I guess people who believe this ad and envision a day-long orgasm have never heard of priapism, an erection which lasts longer than 4-6 hours and can result in impotence.
Ambien, while not a narcotic, may be habit forming. Also, if you are taking Ambien at the end of an evening of partying, which probably means you've had more than a bit of the bubbily, is someone answering a fake ad aware that mixing Ambien and alcohol could cause coma--or even death? (It's also worth noting that Ambien, like many other such drugs, must be taken for several days before the full effect kicks in.)
Valium also has its dangers. While not a narcotic, it, too, can be physically and psychologically habit-forming, can cause seizures if combined with alcohol, and can result in withdrawal effects if stopped too soon.
(Since most of my working time is spent typing reports on medication dosages, effects, and monitoring, I'm quite sensitive to issues like this!)
I don't usually even download ads like this--I get them so often--but I was curious, so I did download one of the many such ads that I got. It read
What idiot would buy potent drugs without a doctor's prescription--or dosage guidance--from some anonymous spammer?
The sheer volume of ads like this make me wonder if there are really that many stupid people out there that it is worth it to keep irritating the rest of us, just like I wonder if there are there that many stupid people out there who believe that someone from Nigeria has discovered they are "trustworthy" people and want to give them millions of dollars.
Are we a nation of idiots?
Oh. Wait a minute. The country just elected George Bush.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Photo from Australia, by Penny Elvard